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In reply to an earlier post on May 13, 2012 10:46:02 AM PDT
John Ruggeri says:
How about Sibelius ala voce. There are some beautiful works for the voice.

Jussi and Karita are simply wonderful in these performances.

Jussi Bjorling - Säv, Säv, Susa, (Sibelius)

Karita Mattila: "Var det en dröm?" / "Was it a dream?" (Sibelius)

Jussi Bjorling - Diamanten På Marssnön (Sibelius)

Karita Mattila: "Sancta Maria" (Jungfrun i tornet /The Maiden in the tower) by Sibelius

Posted on May 13, 2012 11:25:59 AM PDT
Skaynan says:
john: Indeed. I find Sibelius's works for voice and orchestra, and most of his choral works, very enchanting.

A few more highlights:

Luonnotar, Snöfrid, Tulen Synty, and of course Kulervo- all really great works.

In reply to an earlier post on May 13, 2012 11:39:44 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 13, 2012 12:05:22 PM PDT
John Ruggeri says:
Skaynan says:
john: Indeed. I find Sibelius's works for voice and orchestra, and most of his choral works, very enchanting
Friend - other composers who wrote glorious instrumental musc have touched my Vocal Chord with delight. Brahms and Beethoven come to mind.


Sibelius / Oistrakh / Ehrling, 1956: Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47 - Complete, Vinyl LP
ADDED IN EDIT: Sixten Ehrling leads the Stockholm Festival Orchestra.

Posted on May 13, 2012 1:31:14 PM PDT
Skaynan says:
John: yes, Brahms did as well. and Mozart... and many others. so?

In reply to an earlier post on May 13, 2012 8:52:03 PM PDT
Tero says:
Thanks. I have just one biography, it sets the historical background perfectly and I knew how Sibelius fits into the Fennophile movement. The works were only superficially analyzed. He and family in detail.

In reply to an earlier post on May 13, 2012 9:34:56 PM PDT
John Ruggeri says:
Skaynan says:

John: yes, Brahms did as well. and Mozart... and many others. so?


Posted on May 14, 2012 2:23:21 AM PDT
Skaynan says:
John- not sure what you mean, but what I mean is: "this is a whole different discussion topic that deserves a thread on it's own right"

Posted on May 14, 2012 4:13:01 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 14, 2012 4:14:34 AM PDT
Tero says:
This is one I have had my eye on. I don't care for the songs with piano. When I get an extra 40 dollars:
Sibelius Edition 3: Voice & Orchestra

Plus I have had Kullervo for some time. The orchestra is the Turku one, where I was born.

Posted on May 14, 2012 6:18:21 PM PDT
M. Mitchell says:
I just got a pamphlet from Seattle Symphony (my home orchestra) and was extremely excited to see that Hilary Hahn will be playing Sibelius' violin concerto next season. I learned the work from her, and I believe it is one of the best out there!

Sidenote- they are playing Mahler's 4th next season as well, which is HIGH on my list to see live. so excited!!

Posted on May 15, 2012 6:00:12 AM PDT
Skaynan says:
Speaking of Sibelius's choral works- Tero, if I recall, you said somewhere you actually sung the choral version of "Finlandia", right?

In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2012 6:55:48 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 15, 2012 8:16:50 AM PDT
Tero says:
Yes, it available.
Probably on this, that does not list tracks
Jean Sibelius: Finlandia / Simply the Best and Most Beautiful By the Finnish Master

and this for sure
Sibelius, J.: Cantatas / Finlandia (Complete)
I think there is one with a famous conductor as well.

This I think

Origin of Fire / Sandels

The Finlandia hymn is just the sung melody, so it comes in minutes after the orchestral piece has started [ 5 min 40s on a 9 minute recording] It was never sung in the 1910s, too patriotic.

Posted on May 15, 2012 7:06:10 AM PDT
Piso Mojado says:
The "B" section, slow movement march, of Schumann's piano quintet comes close to quoting "Finlandia" in advance, by prolepsis Mentioned before, worth repeating. Ville Jokinnen of Helsinki cautiously agreed with this when he was in the forum..

In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2012 9:43:01 AM PDT
Tero--What a nice surprise to find you here!

I have a CD of Sibelius cantatas that includes a choral Finlandia (Paavo Jarvi, Estonian National Symphony+choirs). It is sung by an all-male chorus. I don't know if that was the intent of the composer, but it sounds great. My favorite on that disk though, is probably Snofrid (mixed choir).

The Violin Concerto is probably my favorite piece of music. It is one of a few that I will hear at every opportunity. Most recent was by Vadim Repin with the San Francisco Symphony. I guess it is OK now for a Russian to play Sibelius. My favorite was Sarah Chang, also with the SF Symphony. I looked for it on CD after the concert and was not able to find it, but now I see it is available on Amazon. I hope I am not disappointed--the live performance was very intense. I think my hair stood on end through the whole thing.

In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2012 10:04:24 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 15, 2012 2:59:49 PM PDT
Tero says:
I'm sure there is a piano and choir arrangement, a short one, as all music teachers would include it. It is sung in school on Dec 6th. Well, the day before. It is a holiday.

here is a youth choir

Posted on May 16, 2012 4:29:20 AM PDT
Tero says:
I never actually get thru Kullervo so I will put it in the car. Driving to work and back should cover all of it. Disc stays in there till I am done.

The one movement that starts
Kullervo Kalevan poika, sinisukka äijön the one I usually play.

Posted on May 17, 2012 4:00:22 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 19, 2012 7:04:03 AM PDT
Tero says:
Sibelius' lost fragments, possibly from 8th S.'
click the play arrow and go to 2 minutes

In some years, recordings will come out.

Posted on May 19, 2012 7:03:24 AM PDT
Tero says:
For years and years it was just three or four Sibelius works I would listen to. Symphony 2 was a favorite. Now I am starting to feel it has too much stuff in it, like 1. The tone poems are better at holding my attention, but the symphonies still work. I listen to all of them, but now less of 2 and 7, which I have always has trouble with. I need a special frame of mind for 7.

The theater works and other suites work for me too, I kind of listen to them like baroque suites, say Handel opera suites.

Posted on May 19, 2012 11:00:37 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 19, 2012 9:17:08 PM PDT
Thank you John Ruggieri for providing a You Tube link to the David Oistrakh/ Sixten Ehrling Stockholm recording of the Sibelius Violin Concerto. It was one of the first classical LPs I owned, bought 'used' during my college days, and I played it over & over again. I still marvel at Oistrakh's violin playing. Not to be missed. (It's worth linking to again, for those who may have missed your post.)

Posted on May 20, 2012 9:30:21 PM PDT
It's coming back to me now. I've heard Sarah Chang play the Sibelius Violin Concerto twice: once in 1996 and once in 2006. In 1996, she was 15, and you felt that you were hearing a prodigy, but not a master. The 2006 performance absolutely blew me away--I definitely felt that I was hearing a master of the work, if not *the* master! When I looked to see if she had recorded it, I found the 1996 recording on EMI, roughly contemporaneous with the 1996 live performance I heard, and decided not to purchase it. Having forgotten all that, I just purchased the CD and it confirmed my first impression--the performance is excellent, but not the one I will return to when I want to hear the Concerto. I have several problems with this recording, mainly having to do with the recording itself. Though it is a live performance, the mixing seems artificial, with the orchestra at several points too forward, apparently in order to achieve dramatic effect. Dude!-- leave it alone! The concerto is plenty dramatic!

The performance I *will* return to is Jascha Heifetz with the Chicago Symphony on RCA (ADD, recorded 1959). I do not have the musical knowledge to praise the performance, but its emotional impact is extraordinary. Despite the disclaimer in the notes that recording noise could not be completely corrected during remastering, I think the sonics on this disc are superb (I have some high-frequency hearing loss, so I can't promise that everybody will agree!). That said, I plan to write Sarah Chang a fan letter begging her to record the Concerto again, preferably in a live performance. How I wish I could re-create that 2006 performance! My wife agrees; she can describe in detail the gown that Ms. Chang wore on that occasion six years ago!

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 1:06:44 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 21, 2012 2:55:18 AM PDT]

Posted on May 21, 2012 3:34:19 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 21, 2012 3:36:17 AM PDT
Joe Anthony says:

My first Sibelius was as the "B" side to an LP that featured the "Peer Gynt" suites by Grieg. I bought the LP from Columbia's budget line (w/Leonard Bernstein and the NYPO) for the Grieg. It's interesting how Grieg and Sibelius are often programmed together when their music is so different. Grieg is Norwegian Schumann; essentially Romantic and slightly impressionistic while Sibelius is the essence of late-Romanticism: sweeping and bombastic. Even the nationalities of the two composers are different. While the Norwegians are Scandinavian, from what I understand, the Finns are a people who are linguistically closer to the Hungarians.

My first introductions to Sibelius was through the thrilling and majestic "Finlandia", the melancholy "Valse Triste" and the hauntingly beautiful "Swan of Tounela".

I moved on to the symphonies and was immediately taken with the 7th which I found to be a slushy but beautiful essay in one movement. Then, of course there was the 2nd Symphony; a real big and noisy woolly mammoth of a symphony; sort of like a 45 minute "Finlandia". My first recording of the 2nd was right from a bargain box, an old "Melodya" record from the USSR's venture into the record business. It was played by Gennady Rozhdezhvensky and the USSR radio Orchestra. I think I bought it for about $1.99. It was actually a pretty good recording, even compared to Bernstein and Ashkanazy.

The violin concerto is good but it needs a good conductor to bring it to it's full flavor. Karajan made a recording with an under-rated violinist, Christian Ferras, who took his own life while still a relatively young man. The Ferras/Karajan version of the Sib's violin concerto captures all the crispness of the icy north.

The 4th Symphony to me, is Sibelius's masterpiece. While it lacks the rousing majesty of the 2nd or the 5th, it has a more subtle beauty. It took me several hearings to get it, but now that it's a part of me, I find it quite powerful and intense.

I think of Sibelius as one of those composers such as Tchaikovsky or Rachmaninoff who I've always associated with winter. Indeed, I usually listen to Sibelius in winter. Sibelius doesn't quite go with people playing Frisbee in Central Park and with driving to the beach. I think that in order to really appreciate Sibelius fully, one must have a feeling for the winter months...indeed, winter IMO is a beautiful season.

Posted on May 21, 2012 6:49:43 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 21, 2012 6:51:32 AM PDT
carnola says:

You see Sibelius as "the essence of late-Romanticism: sweeping and bombastic."

I can see that in some of the early works: the first two symphonies, some of the tone poems such as En Saga. But I see a sea change with the 3rd and 4th symphonies as he tightened up his form. The last symphonies, to me, bear little resemblance to the first 2 symphonies. (Not that I don't like all of his symphonies)

My first Sibelius symphony was Szell's with the Concertgebouw--still one of my favorite performances. I'd also rank the 4th as the summit, though I really like the 3rd and 6th, too.

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 8:41:52 AM PDT
JRJoseph says:
Carnola, I see Sibelius about the same way you do. The first two symphonies certainly are part and parcel romantic in nature with hints of Tchaikovsky especially in the first symphony. I see quite a change starting with the third and then he starts to get more concise and more of his vision of modern music is composed. I think it is fascinating to hear all seven symphonies in a few days and to really hear the change in style. All in all, one of the great composers even if he seems to have gone out of style these days but thank god for recordings.

Posted on May 21, 2012 7:09:46 PM PDT
Joe Anthony says:
@carnola; Jesse R. Joseph:

I go along with you in regard to Sibelius' "late-Romanticism". The 4th symphony seems to rely upon a more efficient and less mellow-dramatic kind of development. Even so, he seems to retain what the British revered as his "bardic" qualities.

Posted on May 23, 2012 3:57:01 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 23, 2012 4:07:10 PM PDT
Skaynan says:
"the essence of late-Romanticism: sweeping and bombastic."- I also beg to differ. Sibelius is no Bruckner. The 3rd is anything but "the essence of late-Romanticism: sweeping and bombastic". Nor is the 6th. Nor is Tapiola, the Tempest suite, Luonnotar, The Oceanides, and many other examples. And of course the 4th can hardly be described as anything but "modern" since it's premiere up until now. There is much more to Sibelius then meets the eye on first impressions.

And coming to think of it, even the 2nd is not exactly the essence of late-Romanticism. It may sound deceptively so because the finale sounds big and sweeping, but that's about all that is bombast about it. and even that finale sounds nothing like anyone else's music, late romantic or not. Besides, I love the 2nd to death. I think it's awesome. I don't hear an extended "Finlandia" in it at all.
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Discussion in:  Classical Music forum
Participants:  50
Total posts:  630
Initial post:  Apr 14, 2009
Latest post:  Jan 13, 2014

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